NEW YORK (
) -- In this world of the "new normal" where the U.S. could be facing a downgrade -- and U.S. Treasuries are no longer considered the gold standard -- we've compiled a list of the top ten triple-A rated corporate and sovereign bond issuers to take the place of the T-bill in your portfolio.
Our list comprises ten entities that have the triple-A rating of both
Standard & Poor's
that also have a stable outlook. The list includes three U.S.-based companies and seven countries that, for various reasons ranging from population size to currency strength, offer the best triple-A-rated debt.
We did consider including a number of U.S. financials, mainly insurance companies, which also have triple-A ratings. However, given the fact that all of them have significant holdings of U.S. Treasuries and agency securities they would be directly affected in the event of a downgrade of U.S. government debt, as would the stability of their ratings.
Our picks of the triple-A -rated sovereigns are listed here in alphabetical order.
Some pessimists will (perhaps rightly) point out that the volume of U.S. government available debt dwarfs that of any other triple-A rated sovereign issuer. In terms of volume, the next best choices are Japan with a 200% debt-to-GDP ratio and Italy - enough said.
But unless you're Warren Buffet reading this, there should be some options available to you and your modestly-sized portfolio.